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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 200925915 - Tank Explodes, Employee Later Dies

Accident: 200925915 -- Report ID: 0355111 -- Event Date: 03/23/2010
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31424899803/23/20101799Jeff Malecha
At approximately 1:30 p.m. on March 23, 2010, an employee, who also was the sole owner, was removing one of two 8-ft diameter by 16-ft. 4 in. long underground steel gasoline fuel tanks. The tanks had been pumped out by a vendor at approximately 9:00 a.m. that morning. The tank involved had about 9 inches of gasoline in it. After removing dirt from around the tank, the employee took an electric chop saw to the 2-in diameter vent pipe. As he began to cut the line, a spark or heat from the cut ignited the flammable vapors inside the tank, which caused an explosion inside the tank. This in turn, caused the tank to rupture, catapulting it out of the excavation on to the bank of the excavation. The employee was catapulted approximately 135 ft. east of the excavation. The employee received head and chest trauma, resulting in his death later in the evening.
Keywords: chest, excavation, fracture, flammable liquid, saw, explosion, struck by, tank
End Use Proj Type Proj Cost Stories NonBldgHt Fatality
Commercial building Demolition $50,000 to $250,000 1 12 X
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation Construction
1 314248998 Fatality Fracture Food counter, fountain and related occupations FallDist:
Cause: Demolition
FatCause: Fire/explosion

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